Saturday, January 1, 2011

something sensational (2009)

You must indulge me-- No, no, there is no must. 

You may or may not indulge me.  That is the beauty of our relationship.   I do indulge myself though, like Cecily who knows the Importance of such things: 

"I never travel without my diary.
One should always have something sensational to read in the train."


And it seems to me, if I can make my own self laugh out loud 2 years later, or bring tears to my own eyes, that just might be something  worth passing around again.

Here's what I've most enjoyed re-reading from long ago 2009  . . .

(click on the titles to read the full posts)

Monday, January 19, 2009  What Daughters Do
I sigh.

"What’s wrong?” says my oldest.

“Oh, just thinking of all the reasons why people wouldn’t like me anyway.”

Stay with me – there’s no reason yet to swoop in with reassurances. Does no one else have these moments of self-pity/loathing/weariness when you wonder how much longer you can count on other people’s forbearance?

And let’s get this into context.  It’s 5:47 a.m. . . .

Sunday, February 9, 2009   Dogsbody
. . . "Dogsbody" is the title of what I thought I was going to write – about the time my friend and I, when we were still friends, confused the word dogsbody with godsbody and insights resulting therefrom that seemed to apply to my daughter and the diminished I.

But instead, all I can think of is what a stupid hound the heart is – you try to yell at it and order it back home and it whines and cowers back, until you aren’t looking, then bounds up around your heels again, ears flapping, tongue flapping, so glad to be out on the road with a friend. . . .





Sunday, February 15, 2009   The Golden Apple
. . . We are old, really, my husband and I. And sensible. So where does this weakness in my knees come from as he eats from my hand? Indescribable tenderness fills me, “Isn’t it good?”

“Oh, yes.” He eats the fruit I give him from my fingers. "It is good."

There was once a garden where a tree grew whose fruit was forbidden and guarded by a dragon – fruit so desirable it could stop you in your tracks, entice you from the race you thought you were running. Am I Eve or Atalanta? Is this Eden? Or the garden of the Hesperides? . . .



Monday, April 6, 2009  What my Great-grandchildren Would Want to Know about Today
. . . It's the first time I've heard them this spring - the guardian spirits of this part of the world. They have such a strange ridiculous call - so much the aah-ooo-GAH! clown-horns of the bird-world that I expect to see them rolling over each other and faking pratfalls and headbutts in the sky when they finally appear up over the edge of our roof.

"They're not flying in formation," notes Fritz. It's true. They circle like a skein unloosening above us, rising slowly, spiralling.

"Maybe they're scouting out a feeding place," I suggest.
        
"Not a very efficient way to fly," he says. . . .



Tuesday, April 7, 2009   Do You Recognize the Song?

. . . Because we are hardly different from one another, any of us, though we walk around thinking what we have and what we've done is what we are, thinking we are more than frightened children dangling our legs over the bank with bravado and tossing small rocks into the dark water.

Today a woman came in, the powder blue of her sleeveless sweater pefectly setting off the dark-blue undertones in her skin. Her voice is loud and sure, sweet as molasses, her wide-set brown eyes very beautiful - beauty is confidence and confidence beauty for her, "Bleach! Bless you!," she lifts a jug from the free shelf. "Can I really have this? Really! You are all working for Jesus - you know that don't you? You are working for Jesus. I can see your haloes!"

If so, we are the saddest, seediest group of angels you'll ever see. . . .



Monday, April 27, 2009  Finding It
. . . Fritz lets out a huge shout of laughter, plainly relieved that the paranoia is finally working itself out into the open, “No doubt!”

. . . “And instead of charades they’re going to act out stupid things I’ve done and try to guess,” I mime it, between gasps of laughter, “ – oh wasn’t that the time . . . ? And don’t forget that one time she . . . !”

“They’ll call it Were You There?!” he squeaks, trying to catch his breath. We’re both gasping with laughter and tears are beginning to roll down my cheeks.

“Who’s doing this?” demands YoungSon from the backseat. “Who’s having that kind of a party?” . . .


 

Monday, June 1, 2009  Quantum Guy and MicroNudge at dinner with their children Joy-of-Flight and Nature Boy

. . . “I don’t know,” I say, “Being able to stop evil plans from being carried out. Somehow.”

“Elasticity, now,” says Fritz. “It would depend on how elastic you were. If you were so elastic, you could stretch and stretch, thinner than threads, and then you could be invisible.”

“Except then everyone would keep getting tangled up in you,” I say.

“Yeah, people would keep tripping over your stringiness,” says Eldest.

“So, you’d just drape yourself along the walls,” says Fritz. . . .




Monday, June 8, 2009  Arcing up through Dark Waters
. . . So. My story, for you, my friend.  Not after all about postpartum depression – but how I lived past that bleakness. How I came into a deeper kind of knowing.

How I know that God is there.
Is More than just the sum of everyone else’s platitudes.
Is Deeper than my sorrows.
Is the Firmament on which I can trustingly stand.

Is the water and the rising.
Is.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009    Talking Large 

If I don’t write about my father having a heart attack a few weeks back, it doesn’t mean I am indifferent to it’s happening.

It may mean I want to pretend it didn’t happen. It may mean I don’t see any need to ask for comfort. Which writing about it would seem to entail.

He had 95% blockage, or 99% - the story changed as my parents told it. They said, Main aorta. Left ventricle.

They said, Widowmaker, laughing at the melodrama of it all.

My dad said afterwards, Wake up call. He said, Full healing and stent and successful surgery. He said, it’s probably not my heart that’s going to take me.

I don’t want to be the one to whom people say, Oh, I am so sorry . . . 
(see also "small anvil")




Thursday, August 6, 2009  My Father Sings
. . . "The Merry Golden Tree," Mom would jump in, as she does tonight, with a good backup of her children following.

"The Golden Argosy," insists Dad, with a chorus of offspring following him.

"A Fam'ly Controversy," more of us each year sing laughingly.

These songs were the book where I read my father - even through the years where whenever Dad and I exchanged words it ended in tears and yelling, me shaking with rage, he shaking his head in bewilderment.

But in the bright safe place made by his guitar and the singing, I could read my father as someone standing in his own light: . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2009  Looking Pretty in Pictures
 
"I think my computer has a crush on me," I tell my youngest sister.

"Oh?"

We're sitting on the floor of her study. Beside the guest futon. Waiting for the computer to boot so we can check out the central Illinois weather report. Playing with her new baby. YoungSon and his 4-year old cousin run about.

"Yeah," I say, "every time I change my blog picture, my computer's all - " I make bedroom eyes, drop my voice an octave, "Fetching profile photo . . . '"



Saturday, September 5, 2009  some questions, some answers
. . . "Do you want me to put my book away and stew with you? Because I'm just reading this to distract myself."

"Read your book."

I read.

Fritz shifts in his seat. Then, "I don't know that anyone would CHOOSE to go into urology, you know? Maybe fall into it as a good opportunity . . . Now nephrology, I think that would be fascinating. But urology? I would think that's got to be one of the more unpleasant branches of medicine. Seriously, how many kids grow up wanting to be a urologist?" . . .



 Monday, September 15, 2009   Contentment :: Contain:  Discontentment ::  . . .  
. . . Fritz begins to quote at me: "Two men stood behind bars - one saw the mud, the other saw stars . . . "

"Okay, but the one who saw mud," I tell him, "he says, Whoa, look at that! That ground's soft enough out there, I bet if I just dig this out a little further I can escape," I'm miming it, gesturing widely. "And meanwhile, the other one is still just gazing up through prison bars, Ah, the stars, the stars, how lovely the stars are."

"I have to admit," says Fritz. "That's a good story."




. . . Say, you actually do, nominally, belong to a group called The Gleaners' Group - which group seems to have, sadly, though with melancholy aptness, died on the vine . . . The vision behind that group was a more thrifty and thorough sort of gleaning than what you do today (and really, what you do everyday you are out on the bike, or walking, during gleaning season).

Season begins in August when the growing-wild blackberries ripen.

You know with your nose it's time when you coast (around that corner by the old farmhouse, where the new development is going in) into a cloud of winey, flowery fragrance that is the smell of blackberries, plump and full of all the rain and sun of the summer, tiny dark globes shining heavily in a fat cluster.

Then it is that you come back from rides with the children into town, all purple- tongued and stained fingers. You linger in the creek bottom before climbing your last hill home, bikes propped at the roadside, stepping gingerly into the wild thorns, looking for a darker blackness amid the shadows . . .


Saturday, October 17, 2009   Pictures of Things that Change
. . . I have never been without you.
And yet, you would not want me to stay.


Neither has her mother grown out of the sense
of wonder at sharing the care of such an unique,
exquisite soul . . . So if I find my eyes wet now
it can't be because I see a lovely young daughter
crowned with honors, trembling on the threshold
of a bright, successful future.

I will miss your company
and your wisdom.

writes my daughter, October 2009
The tears must be for the dear old suitcase.
I don't know how I'm going to live without it.
wrote my mother, August 1985

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 stay forever.
I am watching Middlest negotiate a river crossing I've never had to cross. She who does not like to cry cannot speak about Eldest leaving for college without her throat filling with tears. She dashes the water from her eyes with a quick impatient hand, shakes her head, makes herself laugh. . . .

Unless she's angry with her sister, which is also happening more frequently than ever in their deeply intertwined lives. Then it's - "I'll be glad when she leaves!" And when, later, I suggest it may be time to mend fences, "Why? It will never be the same anyway. She'll go and she'll never really ever come back again." . . .
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